League man gambling? Knock me down with a king size Tontine

And so rugby league man Tim Simona has been de-registered for gambling in a game sponsored by gambling.

That an NRL player could have proved susceptible to the siren song of punting, to the ubiquitous advertising and advertorial product placement that’s become very much a part of rugby league…

Well, knock me down with a king-size Tontine.

Now, this isn’t a piece of wowserism decrying the evils of gambling. Well, maybe it is, a bit. But from the get-go: the site runs betting ads and the author loves a punt. Loves reading form and circling a few with a fat red texta.

There’s an old SP at golf who’s generous with his tips. Loves a tip. Loves a bit of mail, spreading it about. All that banter and good oil is part of the fabric of this sporting life.

However, if you, like me, “like a punt”, and it’s quite probable that you do, given Australians spend $23 billion per year gambling – SWEET JESUS CHRIST ON HORSEBACK, PEOPLE, TWENTY-THREE BILLION! – then we need to be fair dinkum.

You are a mug.

And while it’s possible, even probable, that you are a relatively intelligent member of largely middle-class urban Australia, if you “like a punt” then you “are a mug”.

And that’s just it.

Cool with it? Okay! Read no further and decry the author as a wowser with affectations as a poor man’s Peter Fitzsimons, channelling that bandanna-headed worthy’s preachy, elitist schtick.

And that’s cool if you’re thinking that. I’ll cop that, sweet as the nut.

But if you like a punt you should cop this sweet in return: you are a mug.

Oh? Gambling is a “battle” between punter and bookmaker?

Really? Bit one-sided isn’t it? Like 99.5 per cent to the bookie, 0.5 per cent to the punter.

You’d call that “unders,” no?

Even that tiny percentage of gamblers who beat the bookmakers, they aren’t allowed to get on.

If you “like a punt” then you “are a mug”.

Said mate from golf, the old SP? He hobby-bets for beer money. Each year he might make $20k. And for that, his account was black-banned by Sportsbet. Too good for ‘em.

They don’t tell you that on the ads with the fat bloke on the phone, do they, maaaaate?

And you might think that’s pretty ordinary. Or you might think it’s their business and their business model.

Perhaps you can understand it, rationalise it: bookies run a business. If punters always won there would be no profit, and hence no bookmakers.

And then where would we be?

And it’s our choice as punters whether to get on or not.

Fair cops all.

What I’m done with – done, done, done – is all the bullshit and lies.

I’m done with the messaging – and it’s everywhere, on TV, radio, the interconnected web of computers known as the internet – proclaiming both overtly and subliminally that the bookmaker is my friend.

Samuel L Jackson in his backwards beret telling me I’m part of some exclusive worldwide ‘club’.

Samuel L Jackson

Samuel L Jackson is no stranger to betting ads. (Image: Thierry Caro CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The toothsome good sort from the TAB and the ex-footy player are now a ubiquitous part of the footy, the Footy Show, Monday Night With Matty Johns, and just about everything else.

All channels, all media. They’re everywhere these people, selling the punt, selling loss.

I’m done with ‘em. Done with the hotties and hucksters whose gig for corporate paymasters is to suck me in and fleece me of coin.

Those ads. “Maaaaaate. Have a punt! You a punter! Top bloke! Love a punt? Punter! Puntaaaaahh. Maaaate. Wanna punt? Course ya do! Puntaaaaahhh! I’ll never admit this even though it’s not even really a secret but you’re a mug, a sucker, one born every minute, maaaate.”

And someone should think of the children, as they say. Kids watch the footy. And gambling on footy is now… well. It’s a part of it. It’s not even an ad – it’s in the freakin’ editorial. Part of the show.

It’s not right.

Tom Waterhouse tried to tap in a few years ago. Remember Tom? Was a time you couldn’t turn on a TV, radio or iPad without Tom’s head popping up telling us he’d come from three generations of bookmakers and that made him uniquely placed to offer you, punter, the wealth of his market expertise.

It didn’t really wash then and doesn’t really now. Bookie as friend? Yeah, good.

Tom and his people thought it probably didn’t matter. “If we build it they will come. They are, after all, mug punters, and thus powerless to our siren song.”

And there he was, our Tom, part of Channel Nine’s footy coverage, seated with Gus, Sterlo, Joey and Rabs on the pre-match panel of prognosticators.

And that’s when Tom jumped the shark. And people couldn’t cop it, and said, “Booooo, this should not be.”

Tom Waterhouse sports gambling controversy

Tom Waterhouse was not a fan favourite

And soon enough it was not.

And then Tom Inc. was bought out by William Hill who continued to sell the same stuff Tom sold (the punt, loss) just without Tom as figurehead. Because the punters – which meant, most importantly, the punters – could not cop him.

Yet old mate Joel ‘Sugar’ Caine does the same thing. Jaimee Rogers does the same thing. And so does Gerald Middleton and old jolly moon face Glenn Munsie.

They sell you “the punt”. They sell you the lie that the bookie is your mate and that it’s Australian to punt. They sell you loss.

And they’re very good at it. And if you reckon Tim Simona’s the only league man who’s been sucked in, there’s a Harbour Bridge I can sell you, lick of paint, bargain, mate.

Yet people cop it from Sugar and Muns and the other every-people when they couldn’t cop it from Tom. Because Tom looked like a silver spoon-fed princeling in a tailored suit. Muns looks like your butcher.

Thing is, if you are buying the polished yet homely schtick of Caine and Rogers and our man Muns, and you buy “the punt”, you’re buying loss. You cannot win. Over time, you will lose. It is fact. Fact. It’s gambling’s Big Lie.

The bookies frame it as a battle of smarts between bookie and punter but there’s only ever one winner.

And if you do win, they cut you off.

Again, if you’re cool with that, all good. If you’re sweet with mostly losing but occasionally feeling that heady rush of winning, and of looking at the zeros in your betting account and thinking “Damn, but I am rich, I’m going to buy a heap of stuff, I’m like Homer Simpson thinking what would his life be like if he robbed the Kwik-E-Mart,” then that’s okay.

But here’s another thing: even if you win, you most probably aren’t going to buy anything except more of the punt.

A former employee of the TAB says that less than one per cent of gambling account-holders actually withdraw money. Less than one per cent.

And that’s why $23 billion – JESUS CHRIST ON A HOBBY-HORSE, AUSTRALIA! – flows from our pockets into the bank accounts of Australia’s wealthiest people. Twenty-three billion.

There’s a nudge over 23 million people in the whole country. And we’re not all kicking in a grand each.

Twenty-three billion!

Punters celebrate a win at the races
A North Queensland supporter places a bet

Mind you, we’re far from the world’s most prolific gamblers.

It’s estimated by our man from the TAB that the people of Taiwan – population 23.5 million – bet $US1 billion on every single English Premier League match.

Most of that betting is unregulated. Little wonder bookies want into Asia, that Jamie Packer has a casino in Macau.

For if there’s one thing Packer took from his old man Kerry it’s an appreciation for people’s mad, mug love of the punt.

Once the big fellah passed and handed over keys to the kingdom, it wasn’t long before the son sold the media side of the business and focused on gambling. Forbes says he’s worth $3.5 billion.

There’s a nudge over 23 million people in the whole country. And we’re not all kicking in a grand each.

Seems a shallow, even worthless way to make a quid, especially if you’re just trying to turn three billion into four.


Anyway, as I said, I do enjoy a punt. But these days only on the horses, and then only some of them.

I bet big meetings with exposed form. I’m selective and disciplined where once I was wanton, even manic. I listen to the old SP.

Bookies will say I’m the sort of responsible gambler that they want. But that’s bullshit.

Bookies are rich from fleecing mugs. Give the mugs their money back if they’ve gambled irresponsibly, then the exhortations to do it responsibly would hold some water.

And another thing… I no longer bet on sport, which has allowed me to both keep my money and enjoy watching sport. When you bet on a game, the bet becomes largely your focus: First try, first goal, half-time spread, the line, all that.

But just watching the game – as we all mostly just used to do – is both more enjoyable and profitable.

Jordan Rapana Canberra Raiders NRL Finals 2016

Thank god the Raiders were winning in 2016

It has helped that the Canberra Raiders actually had a winning team last year. Betting heart over head on Canberra over the years, nobody won except old mate Bill Hill.

So I’m a bit smarter. But then I’m 47. The vast majority of sports gamblers are young men, risk-takers in the warrior phase of life.

That’s why advertisements target them. Because young men like risk. And gambling is risk.

Now, I can see that. Maybe you can that. Maybe the boys (and it’s 99 per cent boys) can see that themselves.

But it seems, given the numbers, they can’t see it for what it is: Being sucked in. Being a mug.

Now, you could make a case that it’s every Australian’s right to do with their money what they please, and that’s a fair cop.

Perhaps for you, gambling is a harmless pastime and you’re cool with a couple hundred bucks as your weekly recreational spend. Fair cop, too.

Perhaps you disdain the so-called “nanny state mentality” of former NSW Premier Mike Baird and independent MP Nick Xenophon.

Perhaps you even like adding zeros onto the bank statements of Australia’s wealthiest people.

But if you actually fair dinkum believe you can ‘win’ on the punt, if you believe the bookies’ entreaties that sports gambling is part of being Australian and that all dinkum Aussie good blokes bet on sports and that you should, too, and you gamble because of that, then, well, sorry, mate.

You’re a mug.

Written by Matt Cleary

Matt Cleary is a sports writer from Sydney. He enjoys golf, footy and Four Pines Pale Ale, and spends as much time as conscience allows at Long Reef GC. Tweet him @journomatcleary, or read him at his website.

Design and editing by Daniel Jeffrey

Image Credit: All images are Copyright AAP Australia unless otherwise specified.

Editor’s note: Yes, we get the irony. The Roar is a sports site and we do work with wagering partners. But this piece reflects the opinion of writer Matt Cleary, and we support his right to express it.

Comments (40)

Leave a Reply

  • Oingo Boingo said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:03am

    Matt , Oingo Boingo here mate .
    I may not agree with you on some things , but on this subject I’m with you 110% .
    I stated in a previous article that the NRL is a pathetic role model ,with a “do as we say ,not as we do ” example in relation to gambling, whilst a number of the players themselves are constantly chastised for allegedly being poor role models.
    And as far as the 365 ads with Samuel L Hypocrite as the pied piper leading the gullible mice in society into the sea of debt and destruction….I’m rather fond of supplying my own voice over at the and finishing the ad with ….and remember , take heroin responsibly .

    • Jeff dustby said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:03pm

      I wouldn’t blame the NRL

      • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:01pm

        Champion comment Jeff – Thanks for sticking around and seeing IT through – Travel LIGHT MATE

    • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:05pm

      OB – You CAN CHOOSE to sail with a ship of fools or simply invent and utilise your own mode of transport to arrive at Grand Central Station (All Roads lead to the same place mate) – YOU are an artist with the materials at hand to create your own Masterpiece

  • P.tah said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:03am

    I don’t bet. I don’t care if others do.
    I hate the ads being shoved down our throats.

  • MAX said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:16am

    Matt Cleary :The standout article of the season .

    The only way to be a successful punter is to understand value and be disciplined enough to be selective and limit the visits to the well.

    Rugby League attracts 99% of my custom and I would average only 20 straight out bets per season on the right team at full strength with all the stats in alignment and I consider the odds in my favour. The strike rate is fantastic. Life is good.

    • Con Scortis said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:28am

      You also have the superb guidance of Mrs MAX!

      • MAX said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:56am

        Hi Con,

        For 55 years she has remained cool, calm and collected. She understands that punting is no different to shopping though rarely does she bet.

        Rugby League keeps us young and it is a pity that the
        CC does not have an NRL team based at Gosford.

        • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:38pm

          Love your work Mr and Mrs MAX!

          Gentle patience, guidance and understanding wrapped up in LOVE

          LOVE TO THE MAX

  • The Barry said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:24am

    However bad the gambling problem is now it will be worse in 10-15 years when a generation of kids who have grown up with Munsie, Joel Caine, Jamie Rogers et al and believing that gambling is footy and footy is gambling come of punting age.

  • concerned supporter said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:36am

    Great Article Matt Cleary, You say,
    “And someone should think of the children, as they say. Kids watch the footy. And gambling on footy is now… well. It’s a part of it. It’s not even an ad – it’s in the freakin’ editorial. Part of the show.
    It’s not right.”
    Again like you I am a Punter but my sons & grandsons are the targets of these leeches.It does not influence me.
    1/Bet 365?Who wants to be a member of a mugs club, who donate money to the club, only dills.
    2/I have had a betting account with a TAB for approx 18 months.As well as convenience, one has records of his money put in & taken out.I have on occasions taken money out but am behind over this 18 month period.
    3/You say you don’t bet on Sport anymore.But the take out margin is normally around 5% of the pool,say$1.90 each of 2, whereas the Tabs’ take 14.75% from win/place and up to 20% on other bets.Their Fixed Odds Betting varies but is normally greater than 5%.Percentages are obviously very important.

  • Con Scortis said | March 18th 2017 @ 11:02am

    It gets worse, Matt.

    Currently over 30% of our racing and sports betting turnover is owned by foreign companies, like William Hill and Paddy Power.

    Not only are they fleecing mug punters, but they are also fleecing all us mug taxpayers, as each of these companies pay virtually no corporate tax.

    Sometimes they use financial trickery.

    For example, in 2014 William Hill Holdings Pty Ltd (the Australian operation) made a profit of $40 million (money lost by mug punters).

    They should therefore have paid tax on that $40 million profit. You know – tax that can be used to build hospitals and schools and such.

    However, their company accounts showed that in 2014 they also borrowed $580 million from an entity in the tax haven of Gibraltar (a company called “Steeplechase”, which was actually a subsidiary of William Hill UK).

    The accounts showed that the interest paid on the loan was a bit under $40 million, which the local company claimed as a tax deduction, which meant that the profits they reported to the ATO were essentially zero.

    Zero profits = zero tax. Financial trickery of the worst order. Not illegal, but certainly unethical.

    So Matt, all of us are being fleeced, not just punters.

    • MAX said | March 18th 2017 @ 12:24pm

      Excellent post Con Scortis.

      Rupert got $88oM from the public purse using similar techniques and the ATO let it ride without appeal. Rupert was quoted as saying he had not expected to win the initial case. Really?

      The ATO should hire Rupert’s and the Corporates accountants to run the Treasury and re write the legislation to stop these nefarious practices.

      • AJL. said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:53am

        It’s worse than that Max. The ATO had its budget cut, and the a lot of the experts took redundancy payouts. Those experts now work for the big accounting firms, helping the likes of Rupert and William Hill reduce their tax.

    • concerned supporter said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:21am

      Great research from you.The ATO, Treasury etc should be brought to account to explain this “Tax Dodge”50% interest on loan of AUD $80 M., Of course, the company from Gibraltar would pay no or minimal tax on their AUD $40 M income

  • Albo said | March 18th 2017 @ 11:57am

    Great article Matt ! As a former heavy punter but only on the horses, I am somewhat torn on the role that punting should have in our society. And especially its role in our favourite sport. I haven’t had a bet in a decade now and I would never dabble in Sports betting. I have family in the betting industry and can confirm all you have stated about the bookies’ mug punter focus and its subsequent bonanza , where anyone who is a serious winner gets barred immediately. Most of the gambling outlets in Australia are owned by overseas conglomerates so little of their profits are even returned to the local economy. The obvious money laundering of crooks is acknowledged without a wince . I am torn on the issue as I believe people should have a right to spend their money where they wish and many other investments people make in life too are gambles from property investment, the stock market, job & career selection, partner selection etc . There are failures and financial losses everywhere here. I acknowledge that the bookies operate with biased odds in their favour, but I am sure most punters are aware of that. Personal choice to punt I think should still rule. Education of the facts of punting are available to all and parenting should take a role with kids understanding of the facts before they too are subjected to the barrage of advertising to entice their dollars. Whilst there will always be some that will struggle with the temptation and ruin themselves and others around them, punting should still be a personal choice to the bulk of society who can and do limit their indulgences to what the can afford to lose on their entertainment. Having said that, I will unlikely be punting again. I still follow the horses closely without betting, and just for the love of the sport. And I would not bother with Sports betting. That is my personal choice. As is the NRL’s choice of sponsors it takes money from.

  • Nate said | March 18th 2017 @ 12:23pm

    Odds discussions even make it onto the Roar with regularity, both within articles and within the comments sections. Sports betting and the associated ads that go with it are a disgrace. Great article Matt.

  • M.O.C. said | March 18th 2017 @ 1:01pm

    The irony about gambling is that although the bookies like to act as your mate and describe odds like it’s a sure thing, the simple fact that these companies only continue to exist because they take in more money then they pay out. In places like Vegas they don’t even attempt to hide the amount of money they take from punters – the massive gaudy hotels are visible shrines to gambling takings and take pride in displaying in lights the losses of the punters. The weird thing is that the punters see this display of wealth as a lure of riches rather then the evidence of almost certain loss.

    It’s a weird culture we have and we humans are automatons with such predictable behaviour that the gambling industry basically relies of people literally paying money out for a chance at getting some back. It’s as illogical as paying $1 into a arcarde “claw” game to “win” a chocolate bar when you could just buy one in for 50c but people still do it.

  • Jeff dustby said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:02pm

    I love the ladbrokes advert. “Since 1883” – doesn’t that just mean you don’t want to bet with someone who has been winning for 135 years? I love a punt but we don’t need the advertising

  • Tom Rock said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:10pm

    Excellent read Matt.

    As a father of a 2-year old son, the normalizing of gambling as just another part of rugby league is a very real concern. I do not look forward to explaining what it all means, and why these people on the TV are talking about it.

    • Matt Cleary said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:21pm

      Know what – I reckon it’s in the post that advertising – much less in-show editorial / advertorial – for gambling will go the way of cigarettes and alcohol advertising. You can still do these things if you want, smoking and drinking will remain legal. But those who sell these vices won’t be allowed to market themselves, as they do so successfully today. Be a strong politician at the moment to ban the advertising thereof, as Baird tried to with the dishlickers. But Xenephon is on it. And there’d be huge body of pols who’d agree. It’s just too hard basket for the moment. And the punting lobby’s a whale, with much power. Like mining.

      • Scuba said | March 18th 2017 @ 7:35pm

        Given that there have been widespread reports this week that betting advertising will shortly be banned during sports broadcasts, I’m not sure why you say it’s in the too hard basket. It’s a done deal to get Xenophon’s support on other issues.

      • Bobbo7 said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:36am

        True but everyone I know wants the TV advertising banned. Never spoken to a person of any political pursuasion who is pro gambling advertising. The companies would lobby but I doubt there are many people out there who would be convinced by a campaign

  • Kilgore Trout said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:21pm

    Great job Matt . Kudos to the Roar . With just about every source of news and information now controlled by big business getting a fair and balanced view on any topic is almost a thing of the past . Most news of any impact on society ,policy or values , can now be treated like a product review in a magazine in most cases . It might be a version of the truth but only up to the point where it doesn’t negatively affect the advertising revenue streams of those providing it . I had my two cents about the predatory nature of gambling institutions in a Roar article a few days ago . I am sure this article and it’s astute responses has raised some points that people were unaware of . The situation is unlikely to change because there is no financial downside for anyone except the customer who can’t “gamble responsibly ” and who cares about him , right . I understand the argument for personal accountability . You can’t make gambling illegal , and the government would never forego the cash but we could at least we could make it just a little bit harder for these grubby and predatory businesses to influence the the minds of our young . If you think that’s not what betting agencies have been up to over the last decade you are kidding yourself .

  • Alex L said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:37pm

    Personally I see gambling as an ego tax.

    People have to know that the bookies win vastly more than they lose, that they have systems developed to ensure they take in vastly more than they pay out, that they have many intelligent people employed basically with the purpose of ensuring this remains the case; people have to know this because there’s no way they would be in business otherwise, and if they still think they can beat the system that’s just ego on their part.

    • Alex L said | March 18th 2017 @ 3:45pm

      On an unrelated note, while I like this roar article format, the lack of linkbacks to the main page is kind of awful.

      • The Barry said | March 18th 2017 @ 5:12pm


  • Bobbo7 said | March 18th 2017 @ 8:14pm

    Good read. Like most I’m sick of the gambling advertising. You think 23 billion is bad now… wait until a whole generation of kids grows up to directly associate all sport with gambling. It will be a terrible mess for many.

    Had a mate that worked at a pokies joint. Said that one morning a mother and two kids came into the place and were looking around. She asked if they wanted anything and the mother said that she just wanted to show the kids where their family home had gone (the father had sent them bankrupt through gambling). Terrible story and that’s the thing, many innocent victims get caught in the wake.

    I have no issue with one casino, the TAB etc but if the government had any balls it would get rid of the pokies on every second corner and ban all gambling advertising on TV.

    While most people can enjoy the odd punt, many get caught up and lose everything. The thing is that the odd punter won’t miss the advertising or the pokie places because they don’t go that often.

    Anyway, it just seems to be getting worse. I don’t mind the odd punt, it is fun but the way things are going I have real concerns about the kids growing up bombarded with the normalisation of gambling.

    • Matt Cleary said | March 18th 2017 @ 8:35pm

      Mate – the pokies is a whole other beast. Wrote a thing for Inside Sport about em. May cannibalise here down the track.

  • Minefield said | March 18th 2017 @ 9:19pm

    TABCORP get fined $45m by ACCC and its page 10 hidden in the tel and nowhere in the Herald. Marketing money changing hands here???

  • Westie said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:13am

    Hi Matt,
    Great article. I’ve been thinking the same thing. My son plays junior footy and a real issue is convincing mums to let their kids play. It doesn’t help (atleast with a few of our Mums) when the first they think about NRL is gambling. I don’t mind people having a bet, but i’m also concerned myself having kids growing up with that culture. His ex-coach was a really great guy but due to his disease he took money from the club, stole from his boss, went to court and had to sell his house and move up the coast. That can happen anywhere in life, not just footy. It’s more the fact it’s rammed down your throat when you’re just sitting their watching a game trying to tell your kid why its important to run onto a ball.

  • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 19th 2017 @ 4:49pm

    GOLD Matty!

    There are always choices and solutions.

    Should the bookies ban you from doing something you love, then simply take your hard-earned elsewhere.

    A recommendation is to watch the game with your mates. Pool your MONERO’s and she will come back to you in one form or another.

    The winner(s) can leave their wins on the bar to provide FREE drinks for ALL WHO TOOK PART IN the Greatest Game Of All (Gotta LOVE a punt)

  • Onside said | March 19th 2017 @ 8:10pm

    Matt, before this article is a late scratching, I want to say I really enjoyed it.

    I saved the piece and will send it to friends.

    The trouble with this type of article, is it is educational without being divisive (clicks).

    I read the Roar like a newspaper, and like to be informed . Sometimes I make a comment.

    I am staggered by the numbers, and wonder why some ‘popular’ politicians don’t jump onto the tax minimisation issues.

    Thank you

    • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 21st 2017 @ 2:57pm

      Actions speak louder than words – onside – Turn your thoughts into reality by being brave and finding a solution – Everyone and everything else will then follow should you realise that the Best Things In Life Are Free

  • armchair expert said | March 20th 2017 @ 10:40am

    Have only just read this. Gold Gold Gold!!!
    but after I had finished reading and went back to the main page, guess what the ad next to the article was……yep LADBROKES

  • Dutski said | March 20th 2017 @ 10:59am

    Matt, this is where your no bull style has cut through and called it like it is. Best thing I have ever read on The Roar.

    • Matt Cleary said | March 20th 2017 @ 3:47pm

      Thanks mate.

      • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:00pm

        We have your back Mattie – NO FEAR otherwise LOVE runs and hides – We’re ALL in this together

  • Dean - Surry Hills said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:19pm

    Matt – We’re ALL MUGS – And ALL of our cups are over-brimming with the medicine You and I NEED to HEAL

    Use your Heart to HELP guide your selection(s) and you can’t go wwwwwwwwrrrrrrrrrrrong – Ha ahahahahahahah – FREE a DOG (AWE CAT) from death and let them be YOUR Wingmen (Contact your closest RSPCA for FULL details – THANKS in ADVANCE)